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Road repairs prompt health precautions

POSTED: July 2, 2018 10:34 a.m.
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Residents near road work receive postcards that state,“Out of an abundance of caution, we encourage anyone spending a significant amount of time on outdoor activities to wear a dust mask if those activities take place within 150 feet of the road while crews are actively making repairs.”

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SPRINGFIELD — As crews continue work to repair ash roads damaged by the winter storm earlier this year, Effingham County Environmental Health officials and the Effingham County Board of Commissioners will reach out to residents in impacted areas encouraging them to take appropriate precautions.
“Our plan is to have postcards delivered to homes on affected roads prior to work beginning in that area,” said Effingham County Commission Chairman Wesley Corbitt. “The postcards will contain public health information on basic precautions residents can take while work is being done.”
The postcards will state, “Out of an abundance of caution, we encourage anyone spending a significant amount of time on outdoor activities to wear a dust mask if those activities take place within 150 feet of the road while crews are actively making repairs.”
“Wearing a dust mask is always a good idea if you’re active outside for an extended period of time and there is a lot of dust, smoke or pollen in the air, particularly if you suffer from any kind of respiratory condition such as asthma,” said Coastal Health District Health Director Lawton C. Davis, M.D. “Since road repair work can generate more dust than usual, we want to encourage folks to take precautions to prevent any irritation that dust might produce.”
The close to 50 miles of damaged roads were covered with dirt and sand following the winter storm. That action helped lessen the potential for irritants that might arise from the broken-up road surface; however, dust masks can help further reduce irritants.

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